Lebensraum Assisted Living hosts fundraiser for comfort dog training

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Four Grand Island puppies are training to become comfort dogs with the help of a local assisted living facility. Lebensraum Assisted Living say they love their comfort dogs so much, they wanted to help other people get one too.

Comfort dog in training, Claudia, rests after spending the day at a fundraiser. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

Comfort dogs are often used after tragedies to help victims and even first responders cope with what happened. They also visit hospital or assisted living facilities, like Lebensraum, to spend time with their residents.

"They just offer comfort," Dog Handler Teri Joachim said. "The dogs act as what we call a bridge so that they can open up and express their feelings and get some of their emotions and stuff out that they've been experiencing through a tragedy."

"The residents just love to see him," Lebensraum Co-Owner Deb Halm said. "He's gentle and lets them pet him. It puts smiles on their faces."

After seeing how happy their comfort dog makes people, the staff decided they wanted to help trains puppies to make others feel the same.

"I feel like we are giving back. Eddy comes to see our residents to make them feel happy," Co-Owner Megan Corona said. "It's just amazing, you can see the difference in their eyes. You can see the difference eddy makes to them. So that's why we wanted to do this back."

The event had silent auctions, a bake sale and bagged lunches. All funds raised are going directly towards the puppies' training.

The training program says they are always looking for new people to work with their pups. For information on how you can get involved, visit: